A Monster Calls
3 Waffles!

It might be one of the most emotional movies of the year, but it also is one of the truest when it comes to how we process emotions in extreme situations.

Lewis MacDougall stars as Conor – a young boy struggling each day with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) dire struggle with cancer. While she attempts to do everything possible to make his days brighter, young Conor is taking on adult responsibilities like running the house, becoming more isolated from his classmates at school and suffers with nightmares each night at 12:07 AM.

One night, a massive yew tree in the field outside his bedroom window comes to life, and this monster (voice by Liam Neeson) informs Conor he has arrived to tell him three stories, then, the boy must reveal his nightmare.

It takes some time to understand A Monster Calls, but this gives the audience a chance to ruminate on each story and comprehend the complexity of being an adult, especially when you aren’t one and forced to become one in dire circumstances.

Writer Patrick Ness (who also wrote the children’s novel upon which this is based) goes deep as we realize each story from The Monster has more than one interpretation depending on the listener’s point of view or belief about good and evil or ends justifying the means.

However, the biggest revelation is one that might seem obvious, but shocks the audience because we might not realize how much Conor has grown as a mature young man to have the strength to face his true feelings.

This a movie that could have chopped some of the fat to be tighter and better focused on the main plot line, but the performances from MacDougall, Jones and Neeson more than make up for it.

A Monster Calls is rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images.

108 Minutes